YANGON, Myanmar

More than 300 advocacy groups in Myanmar called for an immediate cease-fire in the western Rakhine state, with hundreds of thousands displaced by the fighting are vulnerable to coronavirus outbreak.

Fighting has intensified in some ethnic areas as Myanmar, which has 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, is struggling to control the disease’s spread.

A total of 345 community-based organizations issued a joint statement on Monday, calling on the government and ethnic rebel groups to stop fighting immediately.

Both sides should declare a cease-fire and “work together to help those in need,” said the groups’ spokesman Saw Min Naing.

Read more: Myanmar: Humanitarian groups urge truce amid pandemic